Colorado health survey: El Paso County above state averages

By Kristen Jones, I-News at Rocky Mountain PBS Updated: November 6, 2013 at 3:59 pm • Published: November 6, 2013 | 3:25 pm 0
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The 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey: The biennial survey by the Colorado Trust and Colorado Health Institute asks Colorado residents views on a variety of health issues. For the major questions, it breaks out results by 21 regions. The most populous counties are self-contained regions, while others are a combination of contiguous counties. Here is a look at what the survey found for some of the counties and regions.

FRONT RANGE COUNTIES

El Paso County

The percent of uninsured residents edged up slightly to about 13 percent from about 12.5 percent between 2011 and 2013 but remained one of the lowest in the state among counties and regions.

The survey found that about 68 percent of residents had visited a dentist in the past 12 months, 83 percent had gone to a health care facility and 22 percent had gone to the emergency room. All but dental visits were above the state averages.

As far as their health status, 89 percent said they were in excellent health and 89 percent said they had good mental health, on par with statewide percentages.

El Paso County residents felt better about the overall health care system than they did in 2011. The survey found that 76.5 percent said it met their family's needs, up from 67.5 percent in 2011, and 43 percent said they believed it met most Coloradans' health care needs, up from 39.5 percent in 2011.

Pueblo County

The county had one of the lowest rates of uninsured residents among Colorado's counties and regions, but one of the highest percentages of residents covered by public insurance such as Medicaid and Medicare, the survey found. About 11 percent of the county's residents were uninsured, and 26.5 percent had public insurance

The county had the lowest percent of residents who had seen a dentist in the past 12 months, 52 percent, one of the lowest rates in the state of going to a health care facility, 71 percent, and the highest rate in the state in terms of emergency room visits in the previous 12 months, 26 percent.

Residents also did not think highly of their health status. Only 79 percent reported they were in excellent health and good mental health. Those were the lowest rates in the state.

Denver

The percent of uninsured residents in Denver fell between 2011 and 2013 but remained one of the highest rates in the state. About 18 percent of Denver residents did not have health insurance in 2013, compared to 21 percent in 2011.

The survey also found that 62 percent of residents saw a dentist in the prior year, 73 percent went to a health care facility and 19 percent sought treatment in an emergency room. Those rates were all lower than the statewide figures.

About 86 percent of the city's residents said they were in excellent health, and 85.5 percent said they were in good mental health.

Boulder/Broomfield

The Boulder Broomfield area had among the lowest percentages in the state of uninsured residents, about 12 percent, but an increase from 9 percent in 2011.

The survey found 67.5 percent of residents had gone to a dentist in the past 12 months, 78 percent had gone to a health care facility and 14 percent had used the emergency room. The E.R. rate was among the lowest in the state.

Larimer County

About 15 percent of Larimer County residents said they were uninsured, the survey found, about the same level as two years ago and slightly higher than the statewide figure.

The survey found that about 68 percent of residents had seen a dentist in the previous 12 months and 79 percent had gone to a health care facility, mirroring the statewide figures. But only about 14 percent said they had gone to the emergency room in the previous year, the second lowest rate in the state behind the west central region of Colorado.

About nine in 10 county residents said they were in excellent health, and more than nine in 10 said they had good mental health, the survey found. Both were higher percentages than the statewide averages.

Weld County

Weld County had among the lowest percentages of uninsured in the state at 9.3 percent. That was down dramatically from two years ago when the survey found more than 18 percent Weld County residents were uninsured.

About 60 percent of residents had visited a dentist in the past 12 month, about 75 percent had gone to a health care facility and about 18 percent sought treatment at an emergency room. All were slightly below statewide figures.

Almost nine in 10 county residents, 88 percent, reported they were in excellent health more than nine in 10, 91.5 percent said they were in good mental health.

Denver metro area counties

Adams

The survey found that about 15 percent of Adams County residents did not have health insurance, slightly higher than the statewide figure of 14.3 percent. However, that was significantly lower than the 21 percent in 2011, the last time the survey was conducted.

The survey found that 62 percent of residents visited a dentist in the past year, 76 percent went to a health care facility and 23 percent visited an emergency room. All three rates were near the state average for medical visits. As far as their health status, about 83 percent said they were in excellent health, and 86 percent said they had good mental health.

Arapahoe

The percent of uninsured residents jumped from 12 percent to 17 percent between 2011 and 2013, the survey found. As a result, the county's uninsured rate went from below the state average to above the state average in two years.

The survey found that 71 percent of residents went to a dentist in the previous year, 77.5 percent visited a health care facility and 19 percent sought treatment in an emergency room, all close to the state averages for medical visits.

About 87 percent of residents said they were in excellent health, and 88 percent said they were in good mental health.

Douglas

The county had the lowest rate of uninsured residents in the state in 2013 at 5.4 percent. That's down from 7.3 percent in 2011, when it was also the lowest rate in the state.

The county also had among the highest use of the medical system by its residents. The survey found 83 percent of residents went to a dentist in the past year, 86 percent visited a health care facility and 20 percent sought treatment in an emergency room.

The survey found that 95.5 percent of residents said they were in excellent health, the highest percent in the state, and about 95 percent said they were in good mental health, among the highest rates in the state.

Jefferson

The percent of uninsured residents in the county plunged to about 12 percent, one of the lowest rates in the state. That is down from 17 percent in 2011 when it was higher than the state average.

The survey found 66 percent of residents saw a dentist in the past year, 81 percent visited a health care facility and 18 percent visited an emergency room, mirroring the statewide rates.

About 86 percent of the county's residents said they were in excellent health, and about 90 percent reported they were in good mental health.

Mesa County

The percent of Mesa County residents who reported no health insurance rose to 18.5 percent in 2013, the fourth highest rate among the state's counties and regions. In 2011, the rate was 17.5 percent.

Only 59.5 percent of residents saw a dentist in the previous 12 months, below the state average of 65.2 percent, and 85 percent visited a health care facility, above the state average.

Only 17 percent went to an emergency room, the fourth lowest percent in the state.

As far as their health status, 82.5 percent considered themselves in excellent health, and 85.5 percent thought they were in good mental health.

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